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In Handy 16:06 28 Nov 2022

Share the light: how Ukrainians support each other during blackouts

russia wanted to break us with attacks on infrastructure and blackouts, and the Ukrainians united only stronger. Rubryka tells about mutual aid solutions that are working all over the country right now.

What is the problem?

Блекаут в Україні

The enemy wants to intimidate and force us to negotiate in its favor. Another act of missile terror by the aggressor on Ukrainian cities on November 23 led to the fact that most regions were left without electricity, water, heat, communication, and the Internet.

However, russia tries in vain and uses up its already limited supply of missiles because the Ukrainians cannot be broken. We gather, help each other, and deploy "points of invincibility" because we understand well what exactly we are fighting for and how we want to live.

What is the solution?

Our energy workers and utility services work selflessly and harmoniously. And Ukrainians unite, warm themselves, and share addresses where there is light and the Internet. Social cohesion and mutual support help us not give up and succumb to the terror of the occupiers. It is impossible to deprive Ukraine of warmth and light because Ukrainians radiate them with their souls.

How does it work?

Saviors from darkness and cold

підтримка українців під час блекауту

All over the country, people come to "Points of Invincibility" to recharge their gadgets and warm up. The State Emergency Service says: the rescuers on duty at the checkpoints are happy to welcome people. Even though many citizens asked for help, they helped everyone as quickly as possible. "People's grateful looks, smiles, and sincere words of thanks left in ordinary drawing albums are particularly heart-warming. Similar reviews are also spreading on social networks. We read everything with love and are sincerely grateful to people for their patience and understanding," the State Emergency Service states.

So, for example, in Odesa, the largest such point was located in the fire station on Prokhorivska Street. Here, as in many "Points of Invincibility" throughout the country, you can not only recharge your gadgets and connect to the Internet but also warm up and drink tea. Rescuers keep an approximate count of visitors. According to them, about 400 people visited the point of invincibility in the first half day.

"Point of invincibility" at home

 

Ольга Бобрус підтримка під час блекауту

But people themselves become each other's "Points of Invincibility." So, for example, in Vinnytsia region, a resident of the city Gnivan opened such a point at her home. Olha Bobrus wrote about this on her Facebook page. She invites people to warm themselves by the stove. You can also cook food even if there is no gas — you can use the wood stove. The woman also has a well in the yard, providing round-the-clock water access.

"We have two rooms with a sofa, two armchairs, and four chairs. You can throw mattresses on the floor… Without light! Without water! Without heating! But the main thing is without russia! Keep holding on!" the woman wrote.

підтримка українців під час блекауту

Kyiv resident Andriy Horbenko also became a point of support for neighbors. "Why do you need a generator in your apartment? And what will you do with it after the war?" — that's what friends told Andrii a few weeks ago. "Yep. Today I was a small point of invincibility for the neighbors," Andrii commented on his photo in response to skeptics.

Unbreakable Kherson people

підтримка українців під час блекауту

In liberated Kherson, the blackout did not last for a day or two but for almost three weeks. In the city, where the russian troops during the retreat destroyed the electricity, heating, and water supply, entrepreneurs and everyone who cares help each other in every possible way. Those with wells on the territory and in the yards turn on the generators and allow the city's residents to simply draw water from themselves. And in the Tavriysk micro-district, in houses with no gas stoves (gas is the only thing left in the city after the retreat of the russians), condominiums received cooking stoves — one or two per nine-story building. People get together, cook for many at once, and support each other.

Chargers (and meat grinders) in stores

підтримка українців під час блекауту

Large networks also come to aid. This is how Rozetka stores looked, for example, during the no-electricity days. More than 100 stores are equipped with generators and Starlinks. The network provides access to electricity and the Internet to everyone.

"Today, it is much more than stores. These are points of heating, mutual support, and charging gadgets. A place from where you can call your loved ones and make a donation to the Armed Forces. Where you can live through some of the darkest days together. Come in, and please don't worry, there will be enough light for everyone. Today, thousands of our people are helping hundreds of thousands," writes Vladyslav Chechotkin, co-founder of the online store.

He said that people came to the Rozetka delivery points not only with mobile phones but also with household appliances: someone with a kettle to boil water and someone even with a meat grinder to grind minced meat for meatballs.

підтримка українців під час блекауту

Another network that came to the aid of Ukrainians during the blackout is Epicenter K. Stores have turned into life epicenters by equipping charging stations for visitors. From now on, everyone can use them during blackouts since all stores have autonomous power.

Gadget charging points are called "Chargers"; their number depends on each store's area and power generation capabilities. Charging stations are located at the entrance to shopping centers. In addition, you can use the Internet connection: people come to contact their loved ones and work.

And the NOVUS chain of stores found another solution: from now on, you can rent charged power banks here. You can return the rented device in any network store, even in another city. And for 16 days of such a lease, it becomes the lessee's property.

We fill up with electricity at gas stations

 

підтримка українців під час блекауту

In Dnipro, citizens come to charge their gadgets at gas stations. And entrepreneurs make advances.

Gas stations are not left out. The OKKO, WOG, and KLO chains invite Ukrainians to work, recharge their gadgets or simply warm up in their cafes. At OKKO, the latter are already jokingly called "OKKOworkings ."And at KLO they say: "Our light is your light. Our Internet is your Internet. Our coffee is your coffee."

підтримка українців під час блекауту

Source: Volunteer Natalia Maryniuk's Instagram.

But electricity is more than the ability to work or communicate. It saves someone's life. The other day in Kyiv, parents brought their little daughter to a gas station to connect the inhaler needed for her treatment to the power grid. This photo moved social networks and made Ukrainians angrier: "This story is about indomitability and readiness to share the last charge on the power bank, and about the fact that russia is a terrorist country at war with the civilian population and does such a thing."  Nataliya Maryniuk, who photographed the girl, says.

Spots with internet, light, and heat

Карта закладів, що працюють у блекаут

Cafes and coffee shops that do not get turned off the electricity or have been equipped with generators turn into a kind of co-working space during blackouts. And to make it easier to find them, the LUN website has created a special all-Ukrainian map of establishments, where cafes, shops, co-working spaces, coffee shops, hairdressers, pharmacies, gas stations, post offices, medical centers, and other services that work even when the lights are turned off are marked. The map is constantly updated. It is available on the website and the application. You can add information about business operations to the map. To do this, you need to fill out the form at the link.

But there are also local solutions. So, for example, in Odesa, they are creating their own mechanism of mutual assistance, which citizens are invited to join:

  • If you need emergency help due to a power outage (charge your phone, get access to the Internet, etc.), you need to fill out the form at the link.
  • If you are ready to help those who are having a harder time (you have hot water, a free outlet, the Internet, etc.) — fill out the following form

All results are automatically entered into the online table and can be seen by every user. In this way, the organizers plan to form a database of the list of needs, opportunities, and contacts for citizens' communication.

Коворкінги Києва, де є генератор і Starlink

And in Kyiv, a map of co-working spaces where you can work during blackouts has appeared. Data will be updated.

Mission: to feed everyone

підтримка українців під час блекауту

During the blackouts, volunteer kitchens also became more active because, for many Ukrainians, power outages mean the impossibility of even heating water, let alone cooking. For example, in Odesa, a kindergarten with a generator has become a kind of a humanitarian hub in a neighborhood that is completely dependent on electricity. At first, employees of a private institution helped people with boiling water, then they started feeding them hot lunches, and volunteers distributed food. Soon the support became mutual — the kindergarten continued to cook for the residents, and they supported the initiative with donations with the words: "Buy food, feed people." In the kindergarten, they say: until the electricity situation stabilizes, they will help their neighbors in whatever way they can.

With benefit for children

 

підтримка українців під час блекауту

Libraries do not give up either. So, for example, in the Kharkiv region, in the Krasnohrad children's library branch, they decided that even a blackout is not a reason for young readers to sit at home and be sad. The workers organized classes for children in a warm room: they roll cotton together, weave beads, and read books. And all this — in the light of flashlights. "We work for you! As they say in Ukraine, you can survive any disaster if only it's according to the schedule," they joke in the library. The main thing is a place to meet. The main thing is to stay close to each other.

Even more useful solutions!

 

The Ukrainian energy system is once again recovering. It is starting to gain power again after the NPP strikes. Thanks to the heroic work of our energy workers, light began to appear even in Kherson, which had recently been completely cut off. However, it is still too early for Ukrainians to relax. We survived this blackout with honor. And now we have to prepare for something new — there is little hope that russia will change its tactics soon.

Today, every Ukrainian must once again ask themself the question — how long will they and their family be able to live in such conditions without electricity, water, and communication? Are they ready for another blackout, even a longer one? If you are not sure, turn on the cold mind. Make a list of preparatory actions for yourself and your family. Example:

  • find out where there are nearby heating points and establishments with generators;
  • talk with friends who live in a private house with a stove or fireplace;
  • buy a power bank, a tourist burner, and a thermos;
  • buy products that do not need to be cooked;
  • make reserves of drinking and technical water;
  • discuss your actions with loved ones in the absence of communication.

Much more can be added here; Rubryka has written about this more than once. But most importantly, don't forget to keep the light inside you. We are together, and we will stand! Everything will be Ukraine!


This material was created by the online media outlet Rubryka within the framework of the "Ukrainian Rapid Response Fund" program, implemented by IREX, with the support of the US State Department. The content is the sole responsibility of the Rubryka online media outlet and does not necessarily reflect the views of IREX or the US State Department.

 

URRF IREX РУБРИКА

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